Friday April 18, 2014

The power of small business

Tonight the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce celebrates the success of local business with its annual Business Excellence Awards.

The overwhelming majority of the finalists don’t work for huge employers or represent multinational brands – rather, they are local small businesses.

That’s as it should be. Small businesses, defined as businesses with 99 or fewer paid employees according to Industry Canada, are the largest employer in Canada, with more than one million businesses (excluding self-employed entrepreneurs) making up more than 69 per cent of the total private workforce in Canada.

In B.C., that’s more than 169,000 businesses employing more than 1.1 million people — more than 75 per cent of the total private workers in the province.

Tonight’s awards are the perfect kickoff to Small Business Week, which takes place Oct. 20-26 this year. You can read more about it in the special section in today’s paper as well.

Kamloops has a strong Chamber of Commerce that advocates for its small business members, orgnizations like Venture Kamloops and Community Futures that supports and provides valuable resources to new and growing small businesses, and excellent networking opportunities for small businesspeople through groups like BNI, Enactus and the Kamloops Innovation Centre.

Small businesses are the engine of B.C.’s economy – but every engine needs fuel. That’s where you come in.

Take some time this week to visit a small business – that store you always drive by on the way to somewhere else that you mean to check out but never quite get around to.  Odds are you’ll find something you needed — or something you didn’t even know you could get here in town — at a reasonable price. And by buying it there, you will have helped to prime the pump of our local economy.

We also have a wonderful new local trend of Cash Mobs — a group of people that descend on one local business each month, cash in hand, to show their spending power. So far six local small businesses have enjoyed the patronage of the cash mob — find out more and how to join by seeking out “Kamloops Cash Mob” on Facebook.

We have a lot to celebrate in the Kamloops business community — not only tonight and this coming week, but all year-round.

We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.

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